Research Output
Modelling the environmental Impacts of suspended Mussel (Mytilus edulis L.) farming.
  The potential impacts of marine aquaculture operations on the environment are
reviewed. The reported effects of suspended mussel farms on the benthic
environment are examined and the potential impacts discussed. A framework to
assess the impacts of suspended mussel farms is presented.
The use of simulation models to predict the impact of fish farm wastes on the benthic
environment is discussed and the mathematical theory supporting such models is
presented. The applicability of these models to mussel farming is discussed and the
data required to undertake such modelling identified.
The effect of increased sedimentation on the macrobenthic community, physical
structure and biogeochemistry of the surficial sediment around three suspended
mussel farms are examined. At one site, the benthic community was subjected to bulk
sedimentation, organic enrichment and reduced macrobenthic infaunal diversity.
Elevated levels of organic carbon were recorded close to the farm. At the remaining
two sites, benthic impacts were less clear and not demonstrably due to the mussel
The settling velocity of mussel faeces and pseudofaeces was required to enable
modelling of particles ejected from the farm sites. An experiment was devised to
measure this parameter.- The settling velocity of mussel faeces (~0.5 cms-I
) was less
than pseudofaeces (~1 cms-I
). Differences in these settling velocities were attributed
to the organic content and particle size of the excreted matter.
The particle tracking model DEPOMOD (Cromey et at., 2000a) was used as a
platform from which to develop a simulation model predicting the benthic impact of
suspended mussel farms. Parameters within the model were modified to be represent
a mussel farming scenario. Data from the three sites surveyed were applied to the
model. Although the model results compared favourably with the field data, the
model tended to overestimate the benthic impact as measured by the Infaunal Trophic
The results of the model are discussed and improvements and further experiments are

  • Type:


  • Date:

    30 June 2002

  • Publication Status:


  • Library of Congress:

    SH Aquaculture. Fisheries. Angling

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    577.7 Marine ecology


Chamberlain, J. Modelling the environmental Impacts of suspended Mussel (Mytilus edulis L.) farming. (Thesis). Edinburgh Napier University. Retrieved from



marine aquaculture; suspended mussel farms; benthic environment; fish farm wastes; environmental impact;

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